Determine Your Best Customers in 5 Steps

Chances are you think your best customers are the ones who place the largest orders and are in constant contact with you. But are they really?

Are Your Best Customers Costing You?

Think about it. Often, the customers who appear great on the surface are actually costing you time and money. Ask yourself these questions:

  • Does the customer haggle over price on their orders?
  • Do they always have special requests?
  • Are they constantly coming back to you with time-consuming, costly problems to resolve, ASAP?

If you answered YES to these questions, chances are you are losing profit on your so-called best customer. And while you’re spending time and resources with them, you are not cultivating relationships with your truly profitable clients.

Ask yourself the following questions to determine who your BEST CUSTOMERS really are:

1)      How often do they purchase?
If they buy big, but only once in a blue moon, you can better target your marketing dollars elsewhere.

2)      Are they hagglers?
If the order was big, the final price tag was likely high. However, if you allowed them to nickel and dime you for the sake of landing the order, say goodbye to your profit.

3)      When did they last purchase from you?
Sure, they made a big order – last year. It’s kind of like living in your high school glory days when you were captain of the football team rather than today when you’re little more than an armchair athlete. Live in the here and now.

4)      Are their accounts paid on time?
If they don’t pay on time, who suffers? That’s right. You carry that load until it is paid, no matter how huge the order was.

5)      Is your return department on a first-name basis with them?
Some people are natural complainers. If a customer consistently returns orders, it’s a red flag.

Stop Wasting Time

By knowing who your best customers truly are you can better focus your marketing efforts and quit wasting time on the ones who eat away your valuable time and most importantly, your profit.

– Software Delivered as Promised. No Surprises.

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Insight written by lrucinski@randgroup.com

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  • You would get all these answers (except may be #4, which is important) if you calculate your customer life time value. See http://www.dbmarketing.com/articles/Art251a.htm for a useful link. However, there is a more subjective metric: “fit”. I like to do business with people that think like me and it is not always to find out if they do. Any tips?

  • Lori

    Hi Geraldine,

    Thank you for the link. You raise a good point about finding that more personal fit. I find I can usually get a better idea of how a person does business by asking questions about how they have addressed particular issues or achieved certain results. The key is probing further into their answers with more questions. By the second or third answer, they tend to filter less and give me a good idea of what they’re all about. A word of warning: if someone constantly paints themselves as the hero in a variety of disaster scenarios, they may very well have caused those disasters in the first place!